So far, so good for Saints

Published 12:21 am Monday, February 4, 2013

Ben Hillyer | The Natchez Democrat — Trinity’s Wyatt Boothe shoots a jumper during Friday night’s game against Columbia Academy. Boothe is a regular off the bench for the Saints this season. Trinity is 4-0 in district this year.

NATCHEZ — The Trinity Episcopal boys’ basketball team is currently unbeaten in district play and racked up three wins last week, but those wins are all just pieces to the big puzzle in the eyes of head coach Edwin White.

White was happy with the wins, especially the two against MAIS District 5-AA foes Brookhaven Academy and Columbia Academy, but he still sees issues with his team.

“We made a lot of mental mistakes (Friday and Saturday),” he said. “At this time of the season, we needed to be playing on all cylinders, and we’ve been struggling finishing out a few games.”

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The Saints topped Brookhaven Academy 50-46 Tuesday, defeated Columbia Academy 71-47 Friday night and pulled away from Copiah Academy 75-62 Saturday. The wins over Brookhaven and Columbia moved Trinity to 4-0 in district, which is big for White in terms of playoff positioning.

“We started out good at 4-0,” he said. “We are just trying to finish first and get ready for the playoffs. It’s very important to get in that top part of the bracket.”

White said winning district would allow the Saints to avoid “power hitters” like Central Private School and Simpson Academy in the early rounds of the tournament.

Trinity has district games against Adams County Christian School and Brookhaven left on the schedule, and White said it would be more difficult to defeat those teams a second time.

“With anybody, the second time is going to be harder,” he said. “We’ve all looked at tap on each other now, and anybody you play is going to be hard to beat twice.”

White said Columbia Academy played Trinity tougher the second game and made some adjustments he was not expecting.

Trinity is in the driver’s seat in the district, but a game with Brookhaven Friday still looms large.

“We still have to play Brookhaven, and whoever wins that game is probably district champs,” White said.

White knows the Cougars will be ready for a rematch, because Brookhaven head coach Dale Watts is always prepared for his games, White said.

“Coach Watts came to talk to me when they came down to play, and I told him one of my kids was out with illness,” White said. “He said, ‘That’s not one of the kids you use in the rotation anyway coach.’

“Everybody is doing their homework now, and we are trying to prepare because it will be a lot tougher this time around.”

But in the end, Trinity’s remaining games are still just pieces to the puzzle, White said.

“It’s just another game to prepare and get ready for the playoffs,” he said.

Trinity (17-5, 4-0) will face non-district foe Oak Forest tonight.